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Good morning Father Angelo,

My name is…, for several years my marriage has been going through a deep crisis. At first, I suspected she was cheating on me, then, my wife and I experienced a loss of intimacy, despite having tried to keep the communication between us open, and to rebuild our relationship, the situation has degenerated so much that I ended up cheating on her.

After all this, Jesus gave me three slaps (or, at least, that’s how it felt) in an escalation of difficulties culminating with a situation where my lover ran the risk of being pregnant by me instead of her partner. I have no doubts that Jesus prevented it, since I prayed Him with all my heart.

This has been by far the lowest point of my life, nevertheless, if I can find something good about it is that it brought me closer to Jesus, from there on I began my conversion journey. I completely transformed my life: I now make time for prayer daily, I say novenas, I always attend the Holy Mass, I confess regularly, I even devoted myself to the Scapular of Carmel, and I recite the Holy Rosary every day.

Have I become perfect? No, absolutely not; unfortunately the temptations of the flesh constantly assail me, but at least, thanks to the help of the Lord, I have managed not to fall back into adultery until today. However, I occasionally start conversations via chat with several women, mainly acquaintances of mine. These conversations start about various topics, yet very often end up about sex, and I am well aware of the fact that it is often me who brings the speech there, being aware also that these women would like to sleep with me. Occasionally, impure acts follow these chats.

I know that playing with fire is dangerous, and there is a risk of falling (such as seeing pornographic videos or images).

The thing that saddens me, however, is that I feel a physical need for sexuality. After all, I lead a life of forced chastity.
About three years ago I discovered that the suspicions of cheating were confirmed: I know, since then, that my wife is cheating on me, and I know who she is cheating on me with.

I still haven’t done anything, waiting for my wife to understand her mistakes, praying to Jesus to help me strengthen my marriage, but unfortunately nothing has changed to this date. As a couple, we exist only for our son, to whom we want to guarantee a happy life, avoiding him suffering.

Among the various women from these chats, there is one in particular, the one with whom I risked having a child, that I feel very close to. We are confidants and friends, we support each other in difficult moments, the physical attraction is very strong but it is not the only common ground between us. We feel we can trust and help each other beyond physical attraction.

This woman asked me to meet her in a different city, so that we can spend time together without the risk of anyone seeing us. I told her that I would be very pleased, but also that, although it would be very hard, there must be no physical encounter between us.

Beyond the risk of ending up having an intercourse, is it a sin if I meet with her, spend time with her, including sleeping in the same room?

The fact that I live a forced chastity in my marriage, and that I have not repudiated my wife who keeps cheating on me, could perhaps allow for exceptions (obviously, I am not talking about carnal adultery, I know well that it would be a sin)?

I am very confused, Father. I am aware that I am playing with fire, but I cannot deny myself that I have a desperate need for attention, affection, and obviously sexual intimacy.

Thank you in advance for the time you will dedicate to me, and for your answer.

God bless you and keep you always in His grace.

Dear friend,

1. I understand the plight you have to endure, as you live with a woman who cheated on you, and keeps cheating.

In some ways, the life you are currently leading at home is heroic.

The Lord will reward you for not undoing the family for the sake of your son, who deserves any sacrifice on your part.

2. However, just as the adultery your wife commits, the ones you commit in your turn are also wrong, you are perfectly aware of it. Also chatting with women is wrong, since you know from the start what kind of conversations are made, and where these things lead. All these situations have to be confessed in front of God, with the intention to avoid them.
In the Act of pain you say: “With your Holy help, I propose never to be offended again to flee the next occasions of sin”.
The least that can be said is that chatting is not an escape from upcoming occasions of sin.

3. Your situation as a person betrayed in your affections – however very painful – does not exempt you from living according to the evangelical requirements.
Living according to the evangelical requirements is not a condemnation, but rather the most beautiful experience in life.
The affection and attention that you do not receive from your wife must be sought higher, from the One of whom your wife should be a sign and reminder.
Only He can satiate you. Only He can fill you with joy with His presence, with His words, and with His attentions.
His presence is real. His words and attention are equally real.
Try to seek Jesus with all the feelings of your soul.

4. Instead of abandoning yourself to the desires of the flesh by chatting with other women, search Jesus, meet Him.
Jesus is beside you. He is not far. Indeed, He is by your side even at this moment while you are reading my answer. Look Him in His eyes.

Try to attend Mass on a daily basis, make experience of the Eucharistic adoration, always hold the Holy Rosary in your hands, read books about spiritual life, especially the Gospels.

You will soon realize that perhaps the Lord has allowed this difficult situation in your life for you to meet Him and experience an intimate and continuous communion with Him, which satisfies you immensely more than you can imagine.

5. Coming now to your last question, you should not even think about meeting this woman. Instead, you have to cut her off and undertake the path of sanctification with strong motivation. Only sanctification will make your life truly full in the present, and will prepare you for a great and glorious eternal life.

I will accompany you with my prayer, starting from now.

I wish you well and I bless you.

Father Angelo

Translated by Rossella Silvestri
Proof Edited by Sara Bellei